The cpakayaker.com - this is probably the best place to find local paddlers. We got several "piracy" groups and most of us are more than willing to let you try our gear. Check out the upcoming events on the calendar - very soon there is a gear day. You will find decent and probably reasonably priced used gear there and the opportunity to test paddle a lot of stuff that you will have hard time finding otherwise.
Annapolis Canoe and Kayak is also a great place to check - the folks who run it know paddling and you can demo lots of stuff there too. Reasonable prices too.
Touring Kayak Paddles
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